Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Sew Sumi

S03.E11: Church and State

Recommended Posts

Quote

Constitutional law expert Jay Wexler discusses the remarkable story of Scientology's journey to tax exempt status; Mike and Leah also speak with Lt. Yulanda Williams, a police officer, about law enforcement's community engagement strategies.

Airs February 5, 2019

I think the guide has finally corrected its error in episode numbering. 

Edited by Sew Sumi
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well, yet another mind blowing episode from Leah and Mike.

All I have to say/ask is does it seem highly likely that Co$ and Miss Cabbage MUST have had something on the IRS commissioner for him to grant the "church" tax exempt status, right after having just one meeting with him! IMHO, that is truly a fatal flaw in how tax exempt status is granted in particular by only one person who could have been compromised/blackmailed by Co$ and their private investigator goon squads.

Sorry if that sounds completely paranoid, but I cannot come up with any reasonable, sane explanation for such an abrupt 180 on IRS policy regarding that organization. Especially -- and this revelation almost made my head explode -- since Co$ had been caught trying to defraud the IRS, and by default, the U.S. Government of millions of dollars just two years before that ruling.

If anyone were to write a novel with that plot line, he or she would be a laughing stock!

Edited by DC Gal in VA · Reason: Clarifications.
  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

I think that one of the best lines in this episode, if not the entire season, was when Leah remarked (paraphrasing) how the IRS granted tax exempt status to Co$ after they were engaging in the exact type of behavior, namely harassing IRS employees and trying to defraud the government, that should have prevented them from getting tax exempt status!

Kudos to that very brave 28 year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department for pointing out how law enforcement must be educated on how to deal with cults. I especially liked the analogy of how it's almost like dealing with victims of domestic violence. I wonder if we'll be hearing next season about that sleaze bag organization fair gaming that officer. 

Regarding Shelly Miscavage, Leah asked the questions that had been really bugging me about LAPD's alleged visual confirmation that she was alive and well. Specifically, did they speak to her alone or was she surrounded by her handlers? Did they inform her that they could get her out of there? For those of you who are too young to know this, for years it was standard procedure for police officers to ask an abused woman if she indeed had been abused, was afraid of her abuser and, if she wanted to press charges right in front of the abuser!!! It took decades of hard work by activists to correct those idiotic policies. Probably the same thing will need to happen when it comes to Co$ and other cults.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

If I was running the IRS or a staff member theres no way I'd touch scientology with a 10 foot barge pole, no matter what the show exposed. They know exactly what they're in for with fair game and its probably not worth the hassle to them especially if they'll be attacked personally.

I mean hearing about the IRS guy who even after all this time was still traumatised by how they went after him, I don't think many people would want to take them on without a vested interest in scientology ending.

  • Like 9
  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, maggiegil said:

If I was running the IRS or a staff member theres no way I'd touch scientology with a 10 foot barge pole, no matter what the show exposed. They know exactly what they're in for with fair game and its probably not worth the hassle to them especially if they'll be attacked personally.

I mean hearing about the IRS guy who even after all this time was still traumatised by how they went after him, I don't think many people would want to take them on without a vested interest in scientology ending.

Except engaging in that behavior is ILLEGAL.   As was pointed out, CO$ was able to pull off this behavior previously because they ran it all in secret and there were no blogs, no internet, no Twitter or Facebook to take them on.  These all exist now.  And the government will be ready for them.   But it was sad to learn that their antics had caused so much distress.

It was telling that the LEO they interviewed was from the SFPD.  Because what must be the worst cult oversight and disasters occurred in San Francisco with the failure of the local government to have oversight into the People's Temple.  PT was very active in San Francisco politics, they would support candidates with money, exposure and getting out the vote for them.  Even after Sunset Magazine exposed Jim Jones for what he was, the Mayor's office and SFPD ignored it, in many ways because they enjoyed the benefits of their support.  The Sunset articles, coupled with other articles by San Francisco reporter Tim Reiterman, were the reason Jones himself fled down to Jonestown.  

11 hours ago, DC Gal in VA said:

All I have to say/ask is does it seem highly likely that Co$ and Miss Cabbage MUST have had something on the IRS commissioner for him to grant the "church" tax exempt status

I don't think you're being paranoid.  That was my first thought too.  PRIVATE meeting and then the PR photo of the five of them smiling their asses off?  Knowing there was a Supreme Court decision out there saying specifically that the donations were quid pro quo?  After the organized harassment of their field agents?  

Except a few minutes later, I actually thought of something a little more sinister....they paid them off.  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I know this won’t be a popular suggestion, but Leah should do what Kim Kardashian did...go straight to Trump. I mean there is no way the Co$ can put more scrutiny on him than he already has. She could appeal to his vanity that he could show how powerful he is by taking them down. 

  • Like 9
  • Useful 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, maggiegil said:

If I was running the IRS or a staff member theres no way I'd touch scientology with a 10 foot barge pole, no matter what the show exposed. They know exactly what they're in for with fair game and its probably not worth the hassle to them especially if they'll be attacked personally.

I mean hearing about the IRS guy who even after all this time was still traumatised by how they went after him, I don't think many people would want to take them on without a vested interest in scientology ending.

Yes, they’d have to be ready for an unrelenting assault from anywhere and a multitude of members - who wants to deal with that?  If the IRS pursues removing tax exemption status they’d have to set their people up to be guarded or sheltered somewhere secret to avoid confrontation and I don’t know if that is even possible.   IMO even though it will take longer I think a more effective strategy is educating people (like this series has done) regarding Scientology to prevent more from joining ... and provide a way for those involved a way out.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I wished they would have asked the expert how does tax exempt status get changed.  Is it just something the commissioner can decide all on his/her own, or is there a process for challenging status, or do you have to file a lawsuit or what?  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
37 minutes ago, TexasGal said:

wished they would have asked the expert how does tax exempt status get changed.  Is it just something the commissioner can decide all on his/her own, or is there a process for challenging status, or do you have to file a lawsuit or what?  

It can be revoked by the IRS, and the organization can appeal.

There is a division that handles exempt organizations (and some other stuff) that is headed by an Asst Commissioner.  In Oct of 1993 this was a John Burke.    The Commissioner was Margaret Richardson who was appointed earlier in 1993 by the president.    I didn't pay that much attention to the newsreel footage which may have been shown in an earlier season, but I had thought it was Michael Dolan who was acting comm before and after Richardson, but I guess it was John Burke.  He would have been the one who caved to Co$.

The church had exemption earlier--from the late 50's to 1967.

10 hours ago, DC Gal in VA said:

I think that one of the best lines in this episode, if not the entire season, was when Leah remarked (paraphrasing) how the IRS granted tax exempt status to Co$ after they were engaging in the exact type of behavior, namely harassing IRS employees and trying to defraud the government, that should have prevented them from getting tax exempt status!

Yes, that sums it up very well.   I remember when the news reported Co$ had tax exempt status;  I was very shocked and disgusted with the government.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Dbolt said:

I know this won’t be a popular suggestion, but Leah should do what Kim Kardashian did...go straight to Trump. I mean there is no way the Co$ can put more scrutiny on him than he already has. She could appeal to his vanity that he could show how powerful he is by taking them down. 

I hate to say it but it might be a real good idea. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, Cobb Salad said:

Yes, they’d have to be ready for an unrelenting assault from anywhere and a multitude of members - who wants to deal with that?  If the IRS pursues removing tax exemption status they’d have to set their people up to be guarded or sheltered somewhere secret to avoid confrontation and I don’t know if that is even possible.   IMO even though it will take longer I think a more effective strategy is educating people (like this series has done) regarding Scientology to prevent more from joining ... and provide a way for those involved a way out.   

But they could cut it off before it starts. The IRS will know who will be working the case before CoS does and can put information out ahead of CoS to make CoS seem ridiculous and petty rather than shocking and revealing. oooh, someone's going to create a "whoisIRSagentX" website? We know you're going to do it and we know its ridiculous and that the non CoS public knows the real stories. Have at it CoS. Its turned from a scare factor into almost a badge of honor -- if you've earned a website from them, you must really be getting to them! Friends can be alerted and warned about CoS' behavior ahead of time. Their playbook is out there now -- what could they do now that the IRS wouldn't be prepared for? Ooooh, lots of lawsuits filed? We know why. A judge would be more likely to dismiss them this time around. 

Its a whole different world now then it was when they did this the first time. . . . Reveals of bad behavior seem to come almost daily anymore -- Not saying the behavior is right but the shock factor is no longer so dramatic. Okay, so today's reveal comes from CoS; tomorrow's comes from the NYT; the next day it comes from TMZ. . . . And???? We've become a tabloid (not at all saying the NYT is a tabloid)  world -- we weren't when they got away with it before. In terms of taking on CoS, our numbness would work against them this time, rather than being shocking like it was last time. 

Bullies need to be stood up to -- we've seen time and again that they turn tail and run when confronted rather than cowered to. And that's all CoS is -- a bunch of bullies. 

Edited by SailorGirl
  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

I'm so happy to see Leah and Mike go for the tax exempt status this year. Unfortunately, I think taking that away is the only thing that will do damage. As an ex-Jehovah's Witness, I have seen several scandals go down in that organization, and a lot of the ex members always think that this is going to be the catalyst of what causes their eventual downfall, but it never does. I'd love to see the Scientology tax exempt status go away, and then have the IRS look into the status of other religions. The JW's have moved their headquarters from Brooklyn, NY to a tax exempt haven in upstate NY. They have sold over a billion dollars worth of buildings, all of which had free labor renovations provided by their members, all tax exempt. And they still have quite a bit of prime Brooklyn real estate in their portfolio that they haven't sold. Think of how much money has stayed in the hands of the "church" that should have made its way back to the government, and how much more will stay in their hands should they chose to unload their remaining properties. Unfortunately, there's always going to be a vulnerable population that easily falls into a cult like this, and there's always going to be a hardcore membership that the more you attack, the more they dig in and support the organization.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Twopper said:

It can be revoked by the IRS, and the organization can appeal.

There is a division that handles exempt organizations (and some other stuff) that is headed by an Asst Commissioner.  In Oct of 1993 this was a John Burke.    The Commissioner was Margaret Richardson who was appointed earlier in 1993 by the president.    I didn't pay that much attention to the newsreel footage which may have been shown in an earlier season, but I had thought it was Michael Dolan who was acting comm before and after Richardson, but I guess it was John Burke.  He would have been the one who caved to Co$.

The church had exemption earlier--from the late 50's to 1967.

Yes, that sums it up very well.   I remember when the news reported Co$ had tax exempt status;  I was very shocked and disgusted with the government.

Wasn't the name of the IRS Commissioner who restored their tax exempt status John Goldberg? I wonder if those creeps thought he might be Jewish and that's why they used the ridiculous analogy comparing their "persecution" by the IRS to the Nazi persecution of the Jews during WWII? As the tax expert Wexler said during the show, "disgusting."

 Correction: the IRS Commissioner was Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. not John.

Edited by DC Gal in VA · Reason: Clarification.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

One of the problems is the IRS has been cut and defunded for years, and common citizens are not going to argue on its behalf, just the way it is.  No one will support giving them more power out of fear it could be used against them some day.  I think the IRS itself is afraid that it could backfire and be a PR nightmare for them.  Between that and what they went through before I think they're gun shy.  I also think the CO$ actively fosters the myths like it's the 70's, 80's or 90s when they were almost untouchable.

That said, if they want to, the IRS could go after the CO$ hard (they were used as attacks dogs in the past to try and bring down people as diverse as Al Capone and Martin Luther King).  Send PI's after our people? We'll make sure those PI's numbers add up.  Miss Cabbage and the CO$ executives, we'll introduce you to some real auditors!

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
36 minutes ago, estellasmum said:

I'd love to see the Scientology tax exempt status go away, and then have the IRS look into the status of other religions

I’d like to see them take it a step further = ALL religions stripped of tax-exempt status, then let them re-apply under the same secular conditions that organizations like Leah and Mike’s Aftermath.org have to comply with.

41 minutes ago, estellasmum said:

Unfortunately, there's always going to be a vulnerable population that easily falls into a cult like this, and there's always going to be a hardcore membership that the more you attack, the more they dig in and support the organization.

Which is exactly why no cult/religion should get special treatment/IRS designation. They will game the system as it is set up, to their advantage.  Changing the system is the only way to stop them.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

Could not agree with you more, @kicotan. I just am a pessimist, I guess, and can see the government possibly going after the "weird cult" religions, but I think the big ones are too powerful to ever have to worry about that. If something as small and bothersome as Scientology has so much power, imagine what the ones with millions to billions of followers have. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, estellasmum said:

Could not agree with you more, @kicotan. I just am a pessimist, I guess, and can see the government possibly going after the "weird cult" religions, but I think the big ones are too powerful to ever have to worry about that. If something as small and bothersome as Scientology has so much power, imagine what the ones with millions to billions of followers have. 

Cults with millions to billions of followers? Gosh! I never even imagined there were such things. So I Googled "rank largest cults" and found some fascinating reading. I had never even heard of the one cult at the top of their list.

http://listverse.com/2007/09/15/top-10-cults/

Scamology is Number Six on the list.

Edited by MisterBluxom
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, DC Gal in VA said:

Wasn't the name of the IRS Commissioner who restored their tax exempt status John Goldberg? I wonder if those creeps thought he might be Jewish and that's why they used the ridiculous analogy comparing their "persecution" by the IRS to the Nazi persecution of the Jews during WWII? As the tax expert Wexler said during the show, "disgusting."

 Correction: the IRS Commissioner was Fred T. Goldberg, Jr. not John.

Fred Goldberg left in Feb 1992  and was replaced by the first woman to head the agency, Shirley Peterson who served slightly less than a year; then Dolan was acting.

The Determination Letter is dated Oct 1, 1993 so it was under Margaret Richardson.    

The battle was a long one; commissioners came and went.  They are appointed for 5 years, if I recall correctly, but  many of them move on to other things and don't serve the whole term.

Share this post


Link to post

There was an exceptionally lengthy rebuttal from Scientology at the top of this episode, which refuted Mike Rinder's statements about his involvement in working to get the Co$ tax-exempt status. The show said they received the letter from Scientology on January 31, 2019.

So, my question is this: is A&E submitting these episodes to some representative of Scientology for review before they air, so that Scientology can issue a response and denial of its contents? Because the letter from Scientology specifically addressed the issue of its tax-exempt status and refuted Mike Rinder's statements (although he did not refer to any work he had done, personally, on that front in this episode.) Each of these "letters" they show before each episode appears to be recent and addressing the specific topics the episode covers. It makes me think there is some sort of arrangement between the network and a Scientology official to let them review these before they air and allow them to respond, perhaps in exchange for a promise not to sue.

As for the IRS, I think the show has done an exceptional job spelling out why Scientology should not be tax-exempt. Unfortunately, as Lugal pointed out above, the IRS has been systematically defunded and defanged over the past couple of decades to the point where they are never going to be able to tackle an issue like this, and there is no political will to motivate or fund them to do so. I think the show has also demonstrated how ineffective police and other authorities are in taking on Scientology. 

Bottom line? Depressing, because nothing is going to stop this horrific organization.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

There was an exceptionally lengthy rebuttal from Scientology at the top of this episode, which refuted Mike Rinder's statements about his involvement in working to get the Co$ tax-exempt status. The show said they received the letter from Scientology on January 31, 2019.

So, my question is this: is A&E submitting these episodes to some representative of Scientology for review before they air, so that Scientology can issue a response and denial of its contents? Because the letter from Scientology specifically addressed the issue of its tax-exempt status and refuted Mike Rinder's statements (although he did not refer to any work he had done, personally, on that front in this episode.) Each of these "letters" they show before each episode appears to be recent and addressing the specific topics the episode covers. It makes me think there is some sort of arrangement between the network and a Scientology official to let them review these before they air and allow them to respond, perhaps in exchange for a promise not to sue.

As for the IRS, I think the show has done an exceptional job spelling out why Scientology should not be tax-exempt. Unfortunately, as Lugal pointed out above, the IRS has been systematically defunded and defanged over the past couple of decades to the point where they are never going to be able to tackle an issue like this, and there is no political will to motivate or fund them to do so. I think the show has also demonstrated how ineffective police and other authorities are in taking on Scientology. 

Bottom line? Depressing, because nothing is going to stop this horrific organization.

I’ve been wondering this myself. They may do this to continue to be able to say they are open and transparent with their accusations and welcome Scientology to come and discuss issues with them. Or what I think is also a possibility is that Scientology finds out the topic of an episode, knows what will be said since it’s true, and issues a ‘they are liars’ letter. They don’t have to be told specifics about the criticisms because Scientology knows best what they are guilty of in the first place. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

Or their attorneys demand to see a synopsis or preview of each episode so they know what to rebut.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
28 minutes ago, funky-rat said:

Or their attorneys demand to see a synopsis or preview of each episode so they know what to rebut.

I’ve assumed that for each episode the producers request a comment from CO$, and to do that they would need to give some basic information, or ask questions, on the topic.

This response was more lengthy, but was still along the lines of “you are all lying liars.”

i am less enthusiastic about this episode than the rest of you.  I was more interested in what cult the SFPD cop got out of, but I don’t recall it being mentioned.  All the training she mentioned would be useful, but difficult for questioning, because who is to decide what religion is a cult, such that the police use these techniques?  There are folks who don’t think Islam is a religion, or that the Mormons are a cult (to name just 2).   And ultimately, unless the police and prosecutors are willing to being in experts to testify at a trial, you’re still left with witness testimony that, as an example, says Masterson couldn’t have committed a rape because he was elsewhere with said witness.

on that topic, anyone else see the article on a guy charged with murder, who says he acted because of Scientology.  Apparently Leah has been subpoenaed as a witness or expert.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2019/02/06/mans-defense-double-murder-case-scientology-made-me-do/2703324002/

i didn’t know CO$ had previously been tax-exempt, and am now interested in how it was taken away.

Edited by Mrs peel · Reason: Typos
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Twopper said:

Fred Goldberg left in Feb 1992  and was replaced by the first woman to head the agency, Shirley Peterson who served slightly less than a year; then Dolan was acting.

The Determination Letter is dated Oct 1, 1993 so it was under Margaret Richardson.    

The battle was a long one; commissioners came and went.  They are appointed for 5 years, if I recall correctly, but  many of them move on to other things and don't serve the whole term.

While Mr. Goldberg left before Co$ received their tax exempt status, he was instrumental in getting the proverbial ball ginormous boulder rolling over our justice system and the American taxpayer. The incredible series of events was initiated by both Goldberg and Miss Cabbage as detailed by New York Times reporter Douglas Frantz in his 1997 article. Some of the shenanigans included are outlined this excerpt from that article:

............

"The full story of the turnabout by the IRS has remained hidden behind taxpayer privacy laws for nearly four years. But an examination by The New York Times found that the exemption followed a series of unusual internal IRS actions that came after an extraordinary campaign orchestrated by Scientology against the agency and people who work there. Among the findings of the review by The New York Times, based on more than 30 interviews and thousands of pages of public and internal church records, were these:

Scientology's lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of IRS officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities, according to interviews and documents. One investigator said he had interviewed tenants in buildings owned by three IRS officials, looking for housing code violations. He also said he had taken documents from an IRS conference and sent them to church officials and created a phony news bureau in Washington to gather information on church critics. The church also financed an organization of IRS whistle-blowers that attacked the agency publicly.

The decision to negotiate with the church came after Fred T. Goldberg Jr., the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service at the time, had an unusual meeting with Miscavige in 1991. Scientology's own version of what occurred offers a remarkable account of how the church leader walked into IRS headquarters without an appointment and got in to see Goldberg, the nation's top tax official. Miscavige offered to call a halt to Scientology's suits against the IRS in exchange for tax exemptions.

After that meeting, Goldberg created a special committee to negotiate a settlement with Scientology outside normal agency procedures. When the committee determined that all Scientology entities should be exempt from taxes, IRS tax analysts were ordered to ignore the substantive issues in reviewing the decision, according to IRS memorandums and court files."

..............

So while it is accurate that Commissioner Goldberg didn't drive the final nail in the coffin, he sure as Hell supplied an entire Home Depot of tools that literally guaranteed the absolutely undeserved tax exempt status of these money grubbing sleazebags.

Edited to add: Here's the link to the entire article:

http://www.lermanet2.com/scientologynews/nytimes/nyt-irs-030997.htm

WARNING: Reading all of this could cause uncontrollable bouts of nausea and may result in your head blowing clean off your shoulders! 😁

Edited by DC Gal in VA · Reason: Additional comments.
  • Like 4
  • Useful 1
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Mrs peel said:

I’ve assumed that for each episode the producers request a comment from CO$, and to do that they would need to give some basic information, or ask questions, on the topic.

This response was more lengthy, but was still along the lines of “you are all lying liars.”

i am less enthusiastic about this episode than the rest of you.  I was more interested in what cult the SFPD cop got out of, but I don’t recall it being mentioned.  All the training she mentioned would be useful, but difficult for questioning, because who is to decide what religion is a cult, such that the police use these techniques?  There are folks who don’t think Islam is a religion, or that the Mormons are a cult (to name just 2).   And ultimately, unless the police and prosecutors are willing to being in experts to testify at a trial, you’re still left with witness testimony that, as an example, says Masterson couldn’t have committed a rape because he was elsewhere with said witness.

on that topic, anyone else see the article on a guy charged with murder, who says he acted because of Scientology.  Apparently Leah has been subpoenaed as a witness or expert.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2019/02/06/mans-defense-double-murder-case-scientology-made-me-do/2703324002/

i didn’t know CO$ had previously been tax-exempt, and am now interested in how it was taken away.

 

I would agree with Mrs. Peel --it adds to your legitimacy to give the other side a chance to comment and/or refute statements you are claiming as fact (plus it helps address any libel or slander issues), and provide evidence that refutes said facts or statements. Compare it to Woodward and Bernstein reaching out to the White House about Watergate, telling the White House what they had and asking them to comment before publishing the story. "Lying liars who lie" isn't a particularly viable response/defense against actual evidence. :-D 

Edited by SailorGirl
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Mrs peel said:

I’ve assumed that for each episode the producers request a comment from CO$, and to do that they would need to give some basic information, or ask questions, on the topic.

This response was more lengthy, but was still along the lines of “you are all lying liars.”

i am less enthusiastic about this episode than the rest of you.  I was more interested in what cult the SFPD cop got out of, but I don’t recall it being mentioned.  All the training she mentioned would be useful, but difficult for questioning, because who is to decide what religion is a cult, such that the police use these techniques?  There are folks who don’t think Islam is a religion, or that the Mormons are a cult (to name just 2).   And ultimately, unless the police and prosecutors are willing to being in experts to testify at a trial, you’re still left with witness testimony that, as an example, says Masterson couldn’t have committed a rape because he was elsewhere with said witness.

on that topic, anyone else see the article on a guy charged with murder, who says he acted because of Scientology.  Apparently Leah has been subpoenaed as a witness or expert.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2019/02/06/mans-defense-double-murder-case-scientology-made-me-do/2703324002/

i didn’t know CO$ had previously been tax-exempt, and am now interested in how it was taken away.

I agree - I didn’t love this epsiode as much. I am really interested in this topic but left frustrated by the episode. I don’t completely blame the episode or Leah/Mike for that but I’m frustrated nonetheless.  

I really didn’t care for the attorney. He seems disinterested at times and other times completely uninformed. If you are asked to come on a TV show, wouldn’t you at least prepare with some research? To me he didn’t add anything to the conversation. Mike laid out what to a layperson sounded like a completely reasonable  case for why Scientology is different from mainstream religions - he used the examples of the Catholic and Baptist churches. His argument about the fact that Scientology cost money to participate in vs  churches that ask for donations but don’t charge for Sunday School and church services. To me that’s a huge difference that shows Scientology is a business, not a church under the IRS guidelines. But I’m not a lawyer. Maybe the law isn’t that clear. So I would have expected the lawyer to say either ‘Yes - that is a great example’ or ‘No/Maybe - this is an issue but it might not be as simple as that - and explain why’. He just sat there and stared at Leah and Mike. It seemed like the entire conversation went that way. At the end he finally said ‘based on what you guys have told me, you sound right’. But that’s pretty week and non-committal. I didn’t feel like he added anything to that whole segment. If anything it took some of the punch away because there was no legal substance to the conversation. 

The second segment frustrated me more but not at all because of Mike/Leah or the guest. It’s just the whole situation. I love the idea of training law enforcement to understand what is going on with someone who is brainwashed by a cult or other such situation. That sounds great. But then what? Still what are they going to do if someone claims they are fine? Mike’s example was that if someone reports that they were attacked by a Scientologist then almost immediately the police would be inundated with affidavit claiming it didn’t happen, wouldn’t happen, couldn’t happen. And probably some people willing to testify they were there and it didn’t happen. Just like people claiming that Miscaviage beat them. So what exactly is the police supposed to do? They can’t say that just because you are a member of a cult you aren’t allowed to give an affidavit or testify.  Besides that being completely against a person’s rights, it also means you wouldn’t be allowed to believe the accuser either because he/she is a member of the cult too. Certainly a sexual crime, if reported in time, could yield evidence to support the claim and show the liars or a physical assault could have injuries. But if someone says something happened and that is the only evidence, and there are a stack of people willing to lie and say it didn’t, it’s a tough case.  Even the case of Shelly being missing. I personally don’t believe they even tried to find her, but lets say this case were to land on a officer’s desk who takes it seriously. Is Shelly required to physically show herself to the cops? And even if she is and the suspect she’s been brainwashed or threatened to stay hidden and silent, what can they do about it? They may completely understand the predicament she is in but I don’t know that there is a legal solution for it, unless she’s dead and didn’t get that way naturally. It’s just frustrating. So while I agree it would be better if law enforcement had more training in the psychological effects of cults and brainwashing, I’m not sure from a practical perspective it would make much difference. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, 3girlsforus said:

I really didn’t care for the attorney. He seems disinterested at times and other times completely uninformed. If you are asked to come on a TV show, wouldn’t you at least prepare with some research? To me he didn’t add anything to the conversation. Mike laid out what to a layperson sounded like a completely reasonable  case for why Scientology is different from mainstream religions - he used the examples of the Catholic and Baptist churches. His argument about the fact that Scientology cost money to participate in vs  churches that ask for donations but don’t charge for Sunday School and church services. To me that’s a huge difference that shows Scientology is a business, not a church under the IRS guidelines. But I’m not a lawyer. Maybe the law isn’t that clear. So I would have expected the lawyer to say either ‘Yes - that is a great example’ or ‘No/Maybe - this is an issue but it might not be as simple as that - and explain why’. He just sat there and stared at Leah and Mike. It seemed like the entire conversation went that way. At the end he finally said ‘based on what you guys have told me, you sound right’. But that’s pretty week and non-committal. I didn’t feel like he added anything to that whole segment. If anything it took some of the punch away because there was no legal substance to the conversation. 

The second segment frustrated me more but not at all because of Mike/Leah or the guest. It’s just the whole situation. I love the idea of training law enforcement to understand what is going on with someone who is brainwashed by a cult or other such situation. That sounds great. But then what? Still what are they going to do if someone claims they are fine? Mike’s example was that if someone reports that they were attacked by a Scientologist then almost immediately the police would be inundated with affidavit claiming it didn’t happen, wouldn’t happen, couldn’t happen. And probably some people willing to testify they were there and it didn’t happen. Just like people claiming that Miscaviage beat them. So what exactly is the police supposed to do? They can’t say that just because you are a member of a cult you aren’t allowed to give an affidavit or testify.  Besides that being completely against a person’s rights, it also means you wouldn’t be allowed to believe the accuser either because he/she is a member of the cult too. Certainly a sexual crime, if reported in time, could yield evidence to support the claim and show the liars or a physical assault could have injuries. But if someone says something happened and that is the only evidence, and there are a stack of people willing to lie and say it didn’t, it’s a tough case.  Even the case of Shelly being missing. I personally don’t believe they even tried to find her, but lets say this case were to land on a officer’s desk who takes it seriously. Is Shelly required to physically show herself to the cops? And even if she is and the suspect she’s been brainwashed or threatened to stay hidden and silent, what can they do about it? They may completely understand the predicament she is in but I don’t know that there is a legal solution for it, unless she’s dead and didn’t get that way naturally. It’s just frustrating. So while I agree it would be better if law enforcement had more training in the psychological effects of cults and brainwashing, I’m not sure from a practical perspective it would make much difference. 

Hi there 3girlsforus. Frankly, when it comes to the attorney, I agree with you but for different reasons. He just seemed so twitchy and hesitant to me. While watching him I detected a real sense of fear on his part. He chose his words just a little too carefully for me. I truly believe he was actually afraid of the possible blow back and harassment by Co$ and Miss Cabbage especially as Leah and Mike described the lengths to which these dirtbags will go to control or destroy any of their perceived enemies. I found listening to him was an exercise in frustration.

As for the officer, I really agree with her about how officers need training in dealing with cult members. I don't know if you read what I posted previously comparing how law enforcement used to deal with abused women but I said that training definitely helped them better serve theit needs. I don't know if Shelly would be required to physically present herself but if she did I hope the police officer would be trained to speak with her away from the Co$ handlers and offer her the opportunity to safely leave with them. Now, if she still refuses to ask for help and says everything is just fine, you're absolutely right; there's really not much they can do. I suspect, however, that some in the LAPD may have been given financial incentives from that bottomless pit of dough Co$ has to look the other way.

BTW, don't know if you still participate, but hope you'll be at the Live Chat tonight for M600PL!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

As a reminder, personal politics/comments about politicians are against site policy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Mrs peel said:

I’ve assumed that for each episode the producers request a comment from CO$, and to do that they would need to give some basic information, or ask questions, on the topic.

This response was more lengthy, but was still along the lines of “you are all lying liars.”

i am less enthusiastic about this episode than the rest of you.  I was more interested in what cult the SFPD cop got out of, but I don’t recall it being mentioned.  All the training she mentioned would be useful, but difficult for questioning, because who is to decide what religion is a cult, such that the police use these techniques?  There are folks who don’t think Islam is a religion, or that the Mormons are a cult (to name just 2).   And ultimately, unless the police and prosecutors are willing to being in experts to testify at a trial, you’re still left with witness testimony that, as an example, says Masterson couldn’t have committed a rape because he was elsewhere with said witness.

on that topic, anyone else see the article on a guy charged with murder, who says he acted because of Scientology.  Apparently Leah has been subpoenaed as a witness or expert.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-best-reads/2019/02/06/mans-defense-double-murder-case-scientology-made-me-do/2703324002/

i didn’t know CO$ had previously been tax-exempt, and am now interested in how it was taken away.

 

You want to know what cult she was involved in? You just Google her name followed by the word "cult".

I don't think it's appropriate to post the name of that cult here because it wasn't revealed on the show so she must have objected to having it made known and I think we should respect her wishes.

Attorney? I thought he was a Professor of Law.  I found him very disappointing as well.

Edited by MisterBluxom
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, MisterBluxom said:

You want to know what cult she was involved in? You just Google her name followed by the word "cult".

I don't think it's appropriate to post the name of that cult here because it wasn't revealed on the show so she must have objected to having it made known and I think we should respect her wishes.

Attorney? I thought he was a Professor of Law.  I found him very disappointing as well.

 

Thanks, but I didn’t recall her name.  Almost all law professors are lawyers.

Edited by Mrs peel
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
54 minutes ago, Mrs peel said:

Thanks, but I didn’t recall her name.  Almost all law professors are lawyers.

Yulanda Williams.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, DC Gal in VA said:

Hi there 3girlsforus. Frankly, when it comes to the attorney, I agree with you but for different reasons. He just seemed so twitchy and hesitant to me. While watching him I detected a real sense of fear on his part. He chose his words just a little too carefully for me. I truly believe he was actually afraid of the possible blow back and harassment by Co$ and Miss Cabbage especially as Leah and Mike described the lengths to which these dirtbags will go to control or destroy any of their perceived enemies. I found listening to him was an exercise in frustration.

As for the officer, I really agree with her about how officers need training in dealing with cult members. I don't know if you read what I posted previously comparing how law enforcement used to deal with abused women but I said that training definitely helped them better serve theit needs. I don't know if Shelly would be required to physically present herself but if she did I hope the police officer would be trained to speak with her away from the Co$ handlers and offer her the opportunity to safely leave with them. Now, if she still refuses to ask for help and says everything is just fine, you're absolutely right; there's really not much they can do. I suspect, however, that some in the LAPD may have been given financial incentives from that bottomless pit of dough Co$ has to look the other way.

BTW, don't know if you still participate, but hope you'll be at the Live Chat tonight for M600PL!

That is a good point about the attorney. I read his behavior as disinterest and lack of prep but you are right. It definitely could have been fear. I wish they had found an attorney who was more willing to communitcate with specific details on the legal hurdles. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Yulanda Williams:  I just googled that.  Oh, boy, she was in the worst of the worst.  OMG.  Apparently taken in from childhood, just as Leah was. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/6/2019 at 2:33 PM, DC Gal in VA said:

While Mr. Goldberg left before Co$ received their tax exempt status, he was instrumental in getting the proverbial ball ginormous boulder rolling over our justice system and the American taxpayer. The incredible series of events was initiated by both Goldberg and Miss Cabbage as detailed by New York Times reporter Douglas Frantz in his 1997 article. Some of the shenanigans included are outlined this excerpt from that article:

Thanks for the link;  I read the article back when it happened.  I was so shocked when it happened, because I had worked for them in the late 70'and early 80's when the fallout from Operation Snow White occurred.  IRS doesn't operate in a vacuum;  there is a chain of command with the Commissioner being directly under the Secretary of the Treasury who is under the President.     Later in this episodes Mike Rinder talked about "safety points" outside the organization-- people who for whatever reason that are friendly to Co$ and can influence others.   I think there must have been other outside pressure on Goldberg in addition to the problems the Co$ put on the Service and its employees otherwise the State Department probably won't have suddenly gotten involved with how Scientologists were treated in Germany.  "Safety points" for them become "pressure points" against anyone who goes up against them.  The whole thing stinks, and I hope their exempt status will eventually be revoked, although I am not sure it will happen in my life time, but a girl can always hope.

I think for Co$ to really die, it will take the death of 1000 cuts.   This program is inflicting cuts as is the internet.  Bad publicity doesn't help.  I recall reading about the McPherson case at the time;  the story of Goldberg and Miscavige reminded me of  Minton ( not sure I can recall name) and his battle and reaction to the Co$.  Heck, if they can beat the IRS, they can beat anyone.  The biggest cut of all would be loss of exempt status-- cutting the head off the snake, so to speak.   If it is destroyed in the US, it will come apart in all the other places it has put its tentacles. ( so I have now just imagined an octopus with the head of a snake--I crack myself up).

I don't have the exact quote from McCulloch v Maryland, but it basically says that "the power to tax is, of necessity, the power to destroy."
 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Twopper said:

Thanks for the link;  I read the article back when it happened.  I was so shocked when it happened, because I had worked for them in the late 70'and early 80's when the fallout from Operation Snow White occurred.  IRS doesn't operate in a vacuum;  there is a chain of command with the Commissioner being directly under the Secretary of the Treasury who is under the President.     Later in this episodes Mike Rinder talked about "safety points" outside the organization-- people who for whatever reason that are friendly to Co$ and can influence others.   I think there must have been other outside pressure on Goldberg in addition to the problems the Co$ put on the Service and its employees otherwise the State Department probably won't have suddenly gotten involved with how Scientologists were treated in Germany.  "Safety points" for them become "pressure points" against anyone who goes up against them.  The whole thing stinks, and I hope their exempt status will eventually be revoked, although I am not sure it will happen in my life time, but a girl can always hope.

I think for Co$ to really die, it will take the death of 1000 cuts.   This program is inflicting cuts as is the internet.  Bad publicity doesn't help.  I recall reading about the McPherson case at the time;  the story of Goldberg and Miscavige reminded me of  Minton ( not sure I can recall name) and his battle and reaction to the Co$.  Heck, if they can beat the IRS, they can beat anyone.  The biggest cut of all would be loss of exempt status-- cutting the head off the snake, so to speak.   If it is destroyed in the US, it will come apart in all the other places it has put its tentacles. ( so I have now just imagined an octopus with the head of a snake--I crack myself up).

I don't have the exact quote from McCulloch v Maryland, but it basically says that "the power to tax is, of necessity, the power to destroy."
 

Thank you for giving deeper insights into that horrible decision by the IRS Twopper. Scary to think that Co$ may have friends in high places within our government; definitely NOT trying to get political with that statement.

As for the sentence I bolded, I couldn't agree more. It will take a lot of Lilliputians to take down that giant. Other than yanking their tax exempt status, which I agree with you ain't gonna happen any time soon, one can only hope for someone in the government with a handful of subpoenas and a team of shark like forensic accountants to really bring them down. Follow the money.

I don't know about anyone else here, but I still don't understand how they grew into a multi billion dollar juggernaut. Yes, yes, yes I know they bleed their "parishoners" dry but, as Mike Rinder alluded to, those types of fortunes are usually amassed over centuries, such as the example he gave about the Catholic church, not over a few decades with a membership nowhere as large as most mainstream religions and that numbers just don't add up. I mean, seriously, who the Hell is still joining this creepy organization?

I tried to find out at any given time what was largest amount of members in Co$ ever recorded. Funny thing is I found out that they say that they don't keep count of how many members they have at any given time. Weird 'cause Miss Cabbage has bragged about there being millions of Scientologists around the world which exactly how would he know since they don't keep count! Really interested if anyone knows the answer to that.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, DC Gal in VA said:

Really interested if anyone knows the answer to that.

It’s just a guess but I’m going to say that since the government doesn’t keep stats on the number of members of any religion, it is up to the religion in question to self-report.

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, kicotan said:

It’s just a guess but I’m going to say that since the government doesn’t keep stats on the number of members of any religion, it is up to the religion in question to self-report.

Hi kicotan. Oh definitely, I understand that but online there are different websites that puts their current membership at something between 25,000 to 30,000 (I think that's just in the U.S.but will double check that). Now, I am not exactly sure what methodology is used to arrive at those figures. For sure someone who held a very high position in Co$ like Mike Rinder is probably a very reliable source and I think he agrees with those figures but he left the organization years ago so who knows really? My main point is that I believe that there has to be some kind of financial shenanigans going on behind the scenes over the years to account for their wealth.

BTW, as I was typing Mike Rinder's name, that photo they showed on the show of him as an adolescent looking all wide-eyed and innocent popped into my head. So sad.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/6/2019 at 9:55 PM, 3girlsforus said:

That is a good point about the attorney. I read his behavior as disinterest and lack of prep but you are right. It definitely could have been fear. I wish they had found an attorney who was more willing to communitcate with specific details on the legal hurdles. 

I think you are both right.  He was a con law professor not a professor of tax law.  A con law professor in class mostly covers case law, and would not usually be involved in the nitty gritty of how the IRS resolves exemption issues.  Of course, he would have read up on it before being on the show.   It has been decades since I had the class, but when Con Law  touched on church state issues it was mostly the type of tests the courts use to see if there is entanglement.  Probably a better choice would have been a tax law practitioner who specialized in 501 (c) organizations or better yet a retired IRS agent who had worked in exempt organizations.   He was probably the best they could get.  I don't think I would want to be on that show talking against the Co$.    

I suspect that the professor had limited knowledge of Co$ but his knowledge was deep enough that he was terrified to say much because he didn't want to be declared an enemy and have to deal with them.   

I think Leah needs to go to law  school; she would be good at it from what I see on tv.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, DC Gal in VA said:

Hi kicotan. Oh definitely, I understand that but online there are different websites that puts their current membership at something between 25,000 to 30,000 (I think that's just in the U.S.but will double check that). Now, I am not exactly sure what methodology is used to arrive at those figures. For sure someone who held a very high position in Co$ like Mike Rinder is probably a very reliable source and I think he agrees with those figures but he left the organization years ago so who knows really? My main point is that I believe that there has to be some kind of financial shenanigans going on behind the scenes over the years to account for their wealth.

BTW, as I was typing Mike Rinder's name, that photo they showed on the show of him as an adolescent looking all wide-eyed and innocent popped into my head. So sad.

Hi DC GAL IN VA.  I was checking out a site that has compiled information on Scientology statistics.  It has such things as lists of Individual Scientology Service Completions, indexed.

https://www.truthaboutscientology.com/

I feel sorry for anyone that gets sucked into the CO$, especially people like Mike who must have a lot of guilt.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
21 hours ago, DC Gal in VA said:

I don't know about anyone else here, but I still don't understand how they grew into a multi billion dollar juggernaut. Yes, yes, yes I know they bleed their "parishoners" dry but, as Mike Rinder alluded to, those types of fortunes are usually amassed over centuries, such as the example he gave about the Catholic church, not over a few decades with a membership nowhere as large as most mainstream religions and that numbers just don't add up.

I can see how it happened.  Members of an actual church usually make donations or tithing, but are NOT REQUIRED to do either (correct me if I'm wrong)  For the sake of easy math, if a church has 100 parishioners and each of them donates $10/week every Sunday for 50 years $520 x 50 = $26,000 x 1000 = $260,000.  Keep in mind, these donations are made to help those in need, feed the poor, church upkeep/salaries, youth groups/adult classes, special events, etc.  If you are unable to donate, church officials do not force you to mortgage your home, open and run up credit cards (with or without your consent), and/or spend your retirement and college savings.  You can still be part of the congregation or you can voluntary leave without being harassed or shunned by your family and friends. 

Now from what I have watched/learned about the Co$, aside from the free "personality test", you aren't allowed to do anything until you PREPAY and it takes about $250,000+ to get to OT8.  That's not counting additional funds towards constructing new buildings, having to repurchase materials "because there are too many semicolons" in the ones you already bought, any courses you have to redo for whatever BS reason, or any additional auditing you have to pay because someone wrote up on Knowledge Report on you.  Again for the sake of easy math, if there are 25,000 members (which seems to be the current statistic even though DM brags there are tens of millions) and each pays the minimum of $250,000, you have $6.2 BILLION dollars.  Add in all the money that people paid for a few courses and left and the millions of dollars that people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson), among others have donated over the years and all the money they saved by using the slave labor from the Sea Org, and you have a multi billion dollar business in a short amount of time.  I'll even throw Davey a bone and say if they had 1,000,000 members and each only paid $20k, that's $20 BILLION!  Keep in mind, the Co$ isn't housing the homeless in their empty buildings, helping in the aftermath of natural disasters, feeding the poor, etc.  They are buying real estate and handing out $cientology fliers on 9/11.  

Edited by juliet73
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, juliet73 said:

Members of an actual church usually make donations or tithing, but are NOT REQUIRED to do either (correct me if I'm wrong)

I’d like to offer examples, first by way of The Roman Catholic Church, which considers itself to be the One True Christian Church:

The Fifth Precept of the the Catholic Church, from the Catechism:

“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church” means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.

Canon Law says this:

Can. 222

§1. The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of the apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.

§2. They are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor from their own resources.

Sounds like a financial obligation to me.

Secondly, how about the LDS?

“Money may be the root of all evil, but, for Mormons, it also provides a pathway to the highest heaven.

That’s because to gain access to the sacred spaces and saving rituals of a Mormon temple, LDS believers must donate 10 percent of their income to the church.

No payment? No entrance.

You can earn [a place in the presence of our Father in Heaven],” LDS apostle Marion G. Romney once said, “by observing faithfully day by day, and year by year, the law of tithing and the other requirements of the gospel of Jesus Christ...”

https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/03/26/does-tithing-requirement-for-entry-into-lds-temples-amount-to-mormons-buying-their-way-into-heaven/

Edited by kicotan · Reason: Didn’t want to just pick on the Catholics
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Yet the Catholic church does not come around to tell you how much to contribute except in an exceptionally weird parish which you are free to leave and you're perfectly free to ignore any and all appeals for money.  They do charge for some classes, but it's a reasonable fee and for facility rental, weddings, etc.

It's entirely different from being charged a set fee to avail oneself of any and all church services and being badgered to use credit to support the church and have church members call your credit card company without your permission to up your credit limit.  No church I've ever attended has ever had my credit card number.  

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, Absolom said:

No church I've ever attended has ever had my credit card number.  

Indeed, many have the same experience.

Unfortunately, once a “Church” has been granted tax exempt status, they get the added benefit of the “don’t step on my religion” clause guaranteed by the first amendment.  They could require every parishioner to take out a credit card and pledge the credit limit with impunity at that point because there is no oversight, they don’t have to submit financial reports like a non-religious based tax-exempt entity,

That’s sort of the whole point of how the CO$ is gaming the system.

Share this post


Link to post

I understand how Scientology works.  Saying that the financial obligation of Catholic churches and Scientology were similar was what I disagreed with.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Absolom said:

I understand how Scientology works.  Saying that the financial obligation of Catholic churches and Scientology were similar was what I disagreed with.

@Absolom

I apologize if you thought I was comparing modern day Catholic financial obligations to Scientology financial obligations based on scale.

Scientology can’t hold a candle to the $$$ donated, historically, to the Catholic Church.  Heck, Protestantism might not even exist if Martin Luther didn’t get as pissed off as Leah Remini is about the amount of $$$ folks spent on what they perceived as attaining a spot in “heaven” (CO$speak=Clear) that in reality both devised as a means to milk it’s adherents right and left.

I was merely responding to another poster who asked a question about “churches”, other than Scientology, that include a financial obligation to the church in their dogma.  I’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t, to some degree, currently.

Edited by kicotan · Reason: Grammar
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, juliet73 said:

I can see how it happened.  Members of an actual church usually make donations or tithing, but are NOT REQUIRED to do either (correct me if I'm wrong)  For the sake of easy math, if a church has 100 parishioners and each of them donates $10/week every Sunday for 50 years $520 x 50 = $26,000 x 1000 = $260,000.  Keep in mind, these donations are made to help those in need, feed the poor, church upkeep/salaries, youth groups/adult classes, special events, etc.  If you are unable to donate, church officials do not force you to mortgage your home, open and run up credit cards (with or without your consent), and/or spend your retirement and college savings.  You can still be part of the congregation or you can voluntary leave without being harassed or shunned by your family and friends. 

Now from what I have watched/learned about the Co$, aside from the free "personality test", you aren't allowed to do anything until you PREPAY and it takes about $250,000+ to get to OT8.  That's not counting additional funds towards constructing new buildings, having to repurchase materials "because there are too many semicolons" in the ones you already bought, any courses you have to redo for whatever BS reason, or any additional auditing you have to pay because someone wrote up on Knowledge Report on you.  Again for the sake of easy math, if there are 25,000 members (which seems to be the current statistic even though DM brags there are tens of millions) and each pays the minimum of $250,000, you have $6.2 BILLION dollars.  Add in all the money that people paid for a few courses and left and the millions of dollars that people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson), among others have donated over the years and all the money they saved by using the slave labor from the Sea Org, and you have a multi billion dollar business in a short amount of time.  I'll even throw Davey a bone and say if they had 1,000,000 members and each only paid $20k, that's $20 BILLION!  Keep in mind, the Co$ isn't housing the homeless in their empty buildings, helping in the aftermath of natural disasters, feeding the poor, etc.  They are buying real estate and handing out $cientology fliers on 9/11.  

Also, keep in mind that in some places, they have RE portfolios that have doubled, trippled or quadrupled in value. In NYC for example, they purchased a building in the Times Square neighborhood during the late 60's/early 70's when that area was considered to be an unattractive part of town (during the period the Deuce is set in). Starting with the cleanup of that neighborhood by Giuliani, that has become some of the more valuable commercial real estate in the city. I'm sure the same is true of the LA properties. So they have cash of billions on top of assets of billions. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/10/2019 at 9:41 PM, Absolom said:

Yet the Catholic church does not come around to tell you how much to contribute except in an exceptionally weird parish which you are free to leave and you're perfectly free to ignore any and all appeals for money.  They do charge for some classes, but it's a reasonable fee and for facility rental, weddings, etc.

It's entirely different from being charged a set fee to avail oneself of any and all church services and being badgered to use credit to support the church and have church members call your credit card company without your permission to up your credit limit.  No church I've ever attended has ever had my credit card number.  

Exactly!  Leah mentioned in the 60 minutes segment that she had to pay an additional $300,000 for three months of auditing just because she asked where Shelly was at TC's wedding to Katie Holmes.  I can guarantee no other religious organization on earth would make that type of demand!

  • Like 6
  • Laugh 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/10/2019 at 9:52 PM, kicotan said:

Unfortunately, once a “Church” has been granted tax exempt status, they get the added benefit of the “don’t step on my religion” clause guaranteed by the first amendment.  They could require every parishioner to take out a credit card and pledge the credit limit with impunity at that point because there is no oversight, they don’t have to submit financial reports like a non-religious based tax-exempt entity,

Churches don't have to apply under 501(c) 3 for exemption;  as long as they meet its requirements they are automatically exempt.    Yes, they could require all sorts of donations to remains in  good standing, and  some do.  The problem is that Scientology makes it difficult to leave both personally and financially.   Even if you quit with no intention of saying "boo" about Co$ it is hard to get prepayments refunded and SeaOrgs get billed. 

This is a good article about churches and whether or not it is better for them to apply under 501(c)3 even if it is unnecessary.

https://www.aplos.com/academy/church-management/501c3-tax-exempt-right-for-your-church/

Back in the late 60's thru early 80's I heard a lot about cult rescues.   One of the girls in the class ahead of me in high school, joined the Moonies as soon as she graduated.  Her family was devastated, but they were unable to get her out.   And I knew a young mother whose husband joined some cult and fled to Europe with their child.  It took several years to get the child returned to the mother.   I guess LRH and Miscavage paid attention to the stories of people being rescued from cults and decided to make sure it would really be hard to rescue anyone.

Edited by Twopper · Reason: to add link
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×